Friday, August 13, 2010

A pen expedition...

I know I'm getting close to spanning the blog lately, but I'm just so happy to have a book...

I wrote this today about a new pen try-out I'm doing. I used Ballookey's book as a testing ground, and so thought I should share.

For the past 10 year or so, I've been using the same pen, it's a pilot gel pen called G-TEC-C4, it's not very common in the USA, in fact I only found one stores that sells them here, which is a Japanese book store, But in Israel they are pretty common as your slightly more fancy then ordinary ball point pen. They cost around 3$ in Israel, and 5$ in NY.

I always loved this pen, but in art school a teacher told me that writing pend are for writing and drawing pens are for drawings and I need to be more professional about my choice of pens. At the time, I switched to pen and ink, which has the most beautiful line, is waterproof and really messy.

Later on, I realized that in the where and when I draw, it's not a choice between a gel pen and a pen and ink, but a choice between a gel pen and a not-drawing-cause-this-is-too-much-hustle. And I went back to the G-TEC.

But, a few days ago, a friend forgot a rapidograph in our place. I remember those from my father and from high school and suddenly I kept wanting to try his pen, however, there was no ink and it was all dried out. So, on Monday, I decided to give myself a birthday present and got 2 of them. One is by Koh-I-Noor, and one by Rotring. It was sort of nice to find out that the pen design and color is still the same as it was when I last bought one of those, which was about 18 years ago.

I've used Moleskine exchange book to give the first one a try. The line is a bit thicker, which I don't mind so much (the Rotring is thinner) and the color of the ink is beautiful - super black and dark, the pen really flow nicely, though - more ink, more time to dry, and also a bit of spreading (but really just a tiny bit). The nicest thing is that unlike the G-TEC, the ink is not water soluble so when I do the painting part, the line stays as crisp which is great.

I'm still trying to decide if I like the result though I feel like the drawing I made with it is more illustrative in style and less artistic, probably because the lines are so crisp.

What do you think? can you even notice the difference?






Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I was trying to magnify the lines to see if I could tell.

I have some Koh-i-nor pens and other technical pens, but I mostly find myself using the others I have because it's such a hassle with the technical pens. I guess I'm lazy. The fine ones clog up and need to be cleaned a lot.

I like your pictures, in either case. It seems that the person who most needs to be satisfied and happy is you.

ballookey said...

Ooh, Rapidographs. I used those daily in my first job at a screen print shop 20 years ago. I still have my first set of Koh-i-noors. I personally found the Koh-i-noors to be more long-lasting than the Rotrings.

Anyway, I looked at both images for a while, and stylistically, I can't say I see much of a difference. The lines are shakier on the piece done with the G-Tec, but I assumed that's your drawing style and not specific to the pen. The rapidograph piece doesn't have that effect in the linework though.

It didn't occur to me that the ink is waterproof. Of course it is, but I never thought about it. You've inspired me to take my pens out for the next book I receive.

steve said...

Yeah, I really can't see too much difference, but either way, both pages are beautiful. I've been searching for a pen thinner than the Pigma Micron 005, but with the same quality and performance. I'll have to check these out. In the meantime, happy (late) birthday Aya!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

YES! Happy Birthday!!! :-D

Andrea said...

What a great comparison, thank you for sharing. I have never tried the fine art pens. I am a gel pen junkie, but the idea that certain pens are for writing and certain pens are for drawing makes me want to try one. I have some other Koh-i-nor pens that I adore, so maybe I should bite the bullet and try the rapidographs.